1930 Bentley 4.5 Litre SuperchargedSOLD
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Billy Fiske was a remarkable character, a young multi-millionaire socialite who was a true Bentley Boy and a close friend of Tim Birkin. Fiske came to England as a Cambridge undergraduate spending his time on the continent bobsleighing, leading the USA bobsleigh team in the Winter Olympics at St Moritz in 1928 and setting a long-time unbroken Cresta run record. In 1939, more than two years before the Americans entered the war, Billy Fiske (after pulling some strings with influential friends) joined the RAF, becoming the first American citizen to join the RAF after the outbreak of the hostilities. He was attached to 601 Squadron, also known as the ‘Legionnaires and Millionaires Squadron’ due to the fact that it had been founded in 1924 from volunteer members of London’s famous Whites Club. Flying Hurricanes out of Tangmere and quickly racking up many strikes against the formidable German Juncker 87’s, he was downed after only a month of active service, succumbing to severe burns at the Royal West Hospital in Chichester. The epitaph on his memorial tablet in the crypt of St Paul’s Cathedral reads ‘An American citizen who died that England may live’. It was his friendship with Birkin that helped him secure the opportunity of acquiring a genuine Blower Bentley. Typically, he was not satisfied with just a normal Blower so Chassis SM 3918 was built to the specification of Birkin team car to include a fully split pinned chassis, long bonnet, 42 gallon fuel tank, Le Mans dash board, inboard adjustable brakes and oil tank as well as a quick release hood and windscreen. Once completed it was delivered to Fiske’s home in Paris in its original colour of Bentley Racing Green. Fiske kept the Bentley until 1933 before, through W.O. Bentley’s brothers’ dealership H.M Bentley & Partners, selling it to Dr Apergis. Not a man to waste an opportunity, he soon stripped the Bentley down for high speed runs at Brooklands, bagging the much coveted Outer Circuit Banking Badge for achieving a top speed of 121.4mph. Apergis had, by this point, changed the Bentley from its original green to its current black and had removed the Le Mans underscuttle as well as the onboard oil tank as it was playing havoc with the stockings of his lady friends! The Doctor kept the car until 1936, Commander MacGregor of HMS Dolphin safeguarding the Bentley through the war before, in 1952, passing it into the long term care of Roy Stanwell. It was over 50 years before the present owner acquired it directly from Mr Stanwell, entrusting its restoration to fabled marque expert Tony Townsend who had previously restored two of the three other Birkin team cars. GK150 is offered here on the open market for the first time in its extraordinary life, providing the chance to acquire not just one of the original 50 Blower Bentleys but a Blower that was built to Birkin’s own full Le Mans specification. A unique and unheard of opportunity.

Reference Number 38359

as of 2/6/2009

Car 1930 Bentley 4.5 Litre Supercharged
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